Airlines canceled more than 1,200 flights as Tropical Storm Nicole made landfall in Florida on Thursday.
Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines each canceled over 100 flights, with United Airlines canceling 73 trips, according to Flightaware.com. The updates add to nearly 990 canceled flights on Wednesday.
The cancellations add to additional concerns with airport closures in Florida due to inclement weather. Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Palm Beach have all temporarily closed their international airports. Miami International Airport remains open, though many flights have been changed due to the storm.
Nov 9/11:07 am – At this time, all flights in and out of PBI are cancelled. Please check with your airline for rebooking details. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/AIFrpa4lh3
— Palm Beach International Airport (@flyPBI) November 9, 2022
Orlando International Airport, the state’s busiest, also announced on social media that it had shut down operations beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday due to expected weather concerns.
Nicole made landfall early Thursday as a hurricane around 3:00 a.m. ET north of Miami., with winds reaching 75 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. A reported 215,000 homes and businesses were without power on Florida’s east coast Thursday morning.
The storm is moving northwest over the central part of Florida. Nicole is expected to continue north as it weakens upon entering Georgia and the Carolinas.
Nearly 3-4 inches of rain quickly fell throughout Central Florida as the tropical storm continued moving inland. Winds have gusted 70 miles per hour or more on Florida’s Atlantic coast, including in Playalinda Beach, Cape Canaveral, Melbourne, and Daytona Beach, according to The Weather Channel. Gusts of more than 60 miles per hour have also been recorded as far away as Orlando and St. Petersburg.
Nearly 3-4" of rainfall and counting as Tropical Storm Nicole moves through Central Florida. pic.twitter.com/KH3iPApRM5
— Kellianne Klass WESH (@KellianneWX) November 10, 2022
Tropical Storm Nicole has also led to a tornado watch issued for Flagler County in Florida that extends until 1 p.m. local time on Thursday.
Several emergency shelters have been opened throughout Florida. The Florida Governor’s Office reported on Thursday that 16,000 linemen are staged to respond to power outages, along with an additional 600 guardsmen activated and seven search and rescue teams.
Florida’s State of Emergency has also been expanded to include 45 counties ahead of potential storm damage. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the initial executive order declaring a State of Emergency on Monday.
Many residents across Florida are still recovering from Hurricane Ian, which struck the Gulf Coast at the end of September. The storm devastated Fort Myers Beach, demolishing the pier. The causeway to Sanibel Island was also destroyed.
Ian moved across the state and up the eastern side of Florida, where it returned to hurricane strength and slammed into the Carolina coast. More than 100 people were killed in Florida and North Carolina during the hurricane.